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Recap / Gotham S2 E16 "Prisoners"

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As Gordon rots in jail, Bullock tries to find a way to free him. Meanwhile, Cobblepot continues to bond with his newfound father, while his stepmother and her children plot against him.


  • Absentee Actor: Bruce, Selina, and Alfred are not in this episode, though the performers in their roles are all credited at the start.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gordon and Puck are both broken out of jail, but Puck doesn't get to enjoy his freedom for very long, if at all. At least he got to die a free man. Also, The Penguin survives an attempted poisoning, but his father — whom he'd just met and began to bond with a few weeks ago — dies in an Ironic Echo of the mother's death.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Carmine Falcone returns to help get Gordon out of jail.
  • Call-Back:
    • The warden is a friend of former Commissioner Loeb, whose downfall Gordon engineered at the start of the season.
    • Gordon's new jail friend, Puck, had a sister who was among the kidnapped children all the way back in "Selina Kyle".
    • The reason why the prisoner that attacked Gordon at the beginning hates him so much is because he shot his younger brother, who was a member of the Red Hood Gang.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Lee lost the baby from the stress of everything that's happened to Gordon.
  • Death Faked for You: How Bullock and Falcone get Gordon out of jail, with some help from an inmate and a guard.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: After drinking poison given to him by his own wife (although it is implied it was meant for Oswald), Elijah tragically dies in his son's arms. It gets more depressing when you realize that Oswald's mother died in the exact same fashion.
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  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The stepdaughter's attempted forcible seduction of Oswald makes it clear how disturbed and upset Oswald is by it. He looks absolutely terrified as she pins him to the bed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When the warden moves Gordon to F Wing, he rubs Gordon's misfortune and what awaits him in F Wing into his face and then tells him in no uncertain terms that he's avenging ex-Commissioner Loeb.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Oswald's stepmother and stepsister say that Oswald could have raped and murdered them in their beds, Oswald replies, "To be fair, I never raped anybody."
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Oswald's stepsister tries to invoke this, but Oswald rejects her advances, rightfully disgusted with her. His stepbrother then (perhaps sarcastically) suggests that he give it a try as well.
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  • Godzilla Threshold: Bullock turns to Falcone only because he has literally no other options.
  • In the Blood: Penguin's father's family apparently has a history of violent mental problems.
  • Inheritance Murder: The stepmother and her children resort to this out of (accurate) fear that Elijah plans to leave everything to Oswald instead of them.
  • Make It Look Like a Struggle: The guard who helps with the escape asks Gordon to hit him so it'll look like he tried and failed to stop him, but to avoid hitting his mouth, because he just got his teeth fixed.
  • Murder by Mistake: The stepmother and her children poison Oswald's sherry, but his father - generally a teetotaller for health reasons - drinks it instead.
  • Mythology Gag: For the majority of the episode, Oswald wears a tuxedo given to him by his father (tuxedos being the Penguin's signature outfit of choice in the comics).
  • Time Passes Montage: The episode begins with a repeating cycle of Gordon's days in prison: being awakened, marching down the corridor, working in the prison laundry, being fed in the cafeteria, and being locked up for the night, over and over.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Oswald's stepmother is this to a T. She and her children utterly despise Oswald, and she is thoroughly responsible for Elijah's worsening heart condition (and eventual death).
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After getting convicted, the only thing keeping Gordon from completely crossing the Despair Event Horizon is the potential for Lee to still be able to raise their child in relative peace. Cue Convenient Miscarriage (see above).
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